Volume 42 Number 65
                 Produced: Mon May 10  6:24:40 US/Eastern 2004

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Ben Azzai's Statement
         [Shlomo & Syma Spiro]
B'nai Brak Seder; Temple Mount
         [Yisrael Medad]
Chassidim with dogs
         [Mike Gerver]
Early Soviet Jewry Activists - UK
         [Yisrael Medad]
Early support for Soviet Jewry movement
         [Dov Zakheim]
Halacha and Standards
         [Ira Bauman]
Jewish Perspective On Freedom Of Speech.
         [Immanuel Burton]
         [Jeanette Friedman]
R. Akiva's age
         [Eli Turkel]
Soviet Jewry & Rabbis
         [Batya Medad]
Soviet Jewry and Senator Jackson
         [Ben Z. Katz]
         [Ira Bauman]
Yom Ha'Atzma'ut Postponed
         [Yisrael Medad]


From: Shlomo & Syma Spiro <spiro@...>
Date: Sun, 09 May 2004 13:12:11 +0200
Subject: Ben Azzai's Statement

bh, lag baomer

> Ben Azzai statement is a nechemta that tells Jews to look beyond the
> despair of the current setting- subjugation and destruction- and focus
> on the teleological ending. If looked at in this way, the haggadah is
> councelling not revolt but living with the reality and hoping for
> Messiah.

Isn't this strange in light of the fact that according to ben Azzai
there is little concern about Moshiach? We won't even read krias shema
then!  Only according to the rabbis who argue with ben Azzai are we
concerned with "the days of the moshiach. "


From: Yisrael Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Sun, 09 May 2004 20:47:57 +0200
Subject: B'nai Brak Seder; Temple Mount

Nathan Lamm <nelamm18@...> wrote:
      The Rambam, in describing in [his? a?]  visit to Jerusalem, also
      describes ascending the Mount.

just to be fair, the Rambam describes how he enters "HaBayit Hagadol
vKadosh", (the great and holy building). Many take exception to this,
and oppose that it relates to him actually being on the Temple Mount but
that he entered a synagogue that was near the current Chain Gate.

The main research article on this that asserts that the synagogue was
inside the Har Habayit compound and that over the centuries Jews
regularly entered the Har Habayit until a harsher Islamic rule
prohibited it is that of Ben-Tzion Dinberg (Dinur), Zion, Vol. 3,
pp. 54-87, 1929 and a second article there by Yehudah Yitzhak Yechezkel,
pp. 95-163 that was the basis for the testimony before the British
commission of inquiry following the riots (I have a copy).

Yisrael Medad


From: <MJGerver@...> (Mike Gerver)
Date: Sun, 9 May 2004 17:00:58 EDT
Subject: Chassidim with dogs

Irwin Weiss, in v42n62, identifies the chassidim he knows who own dogs,

      In response to several inquiries.....
      1) I live in Baltimore.
      2)One family follows R. Menachem Goldberger (who's Rebbe was
      R. Twerski, I think)

I know and greatly admire R. Menachem Goldberger, who was indeed a
follower of R. Shlomo Twerski zt"l of Denver. But R. Goldberger grew up
Modern Orthodox, so he probably wouldn't have the social attitude
towards dogs as pets that many chassidim-from-birth have. And this is,
if anything, even more true of his congregation, many of whom, I think
it's safe to say most of whom, also grew up either Modern Orthodox or
non-Orthodox. It's a wonderful congregation, with Kabbalat Shabbat
singing that is, IMHO, the most beautiful of any shul I have ever
davened at.

Mike Gerver
Raanana, Israel


From: Yisrael Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Sun, 09 May 2004 22:26:42 +0200
Subject: Early Soviet Jewry Activists - UK

My good friend Paul Shaviv <shaviv@...> writes of

      Malcolm Lewis, z'l, a Bnei Akiva activist in London,
      England. Malcolm, together with Mike Hunter (now in Israel) and
      Gordon Hausmann (? still in London), started the Universities
      Committee for Soviet Jewry in England as early as 1966 (possibly
      even a year or two earlier)

      UCSJ, together with the '35 Group' of women were important and
      influential political movers

He is quite right.

And to round out the picture, as I was there 1975-1977, mention should
be made of Barabara Oberman-Katz, Michael Sherbourne, Eric Graus of
Herut and Nan G (I can't recall her name) who published the weekly
bulletin that provided so much information.

And if some are wondering the Halachic linkage in this discussion, I
would presume that lo ta'amod al dam re'echa (don't ignore the shedding
of your fellow Jew's blood) is good enough.

Yisrael Medad


From: Dov Zakheim <Dov.Zakheim@...>
Date: Sun, 9 May 2004 11:58:54 -0400 
Subject: Re: Early support for Soviet Jewry movement

I feel compelled to draw attention to one other person, perhaps the
single most important person, in the campaign to free Soviet Jewry, my
friend and one time boss, Richard Perle. Richard was Scoop Jackson's
strategist, and spearheaded a group of key activists on Capitol Hill
that made Jackson-Vanik a reality. Rchard belongs to a Reform synagogue,
and he is living proof that those who will work only with like-minded
frum people have a lot to answer for. If one who is mekayem nefesh achas
miyisroel has saved the entire world, then al achas kamoh vekamoh,
Richard Perle, who had a direct leading hand in freeing more than
shishim riboh of am yisroel, surely has a reserved place in olam haboh,
regardless of his shul membership.

Dov S. Zakheim


From: <Yisyis@...> (Ira Bauman)
Date: Thu, 6 May 2004 22:54:23 EDT
Subject: Re: Halacha and Standards

In reference to tefillah, Russel Jay Hendel writes:

      One has no right to take the Rabbinic "measurements" of
      distraction and contradict ones own psychological reality!

I see many examples whereby halachah supercedes our own psychological
reality and preferences and imposes standardized criteria.  for example:

1.  If you don't like the taste of meat but prefer dairy, you cannot
make the 9 Days more meaningful by force feeding yourself steak every
day and avoiding milchik.

2.  Even if your Nikes are more comfortable than your Florsheims you
still have to wear them on Yom Kippur.

3.  You look forward to eating lettuce on the seder and for the life of
you can't figure out why it is called Maror.

I'm sure you can find many more examples.  Perhaps someone can explain
why Chazal insisted on standardizing our responses and not allowing for
expression of our own preferences.  Perhaps it would result in halachic


From: Immanuel Burton <IBURTON@...>
Date: Fri, 7 May 2004 12:49:07 +0100
Subject: Jewish Perspective On Freedom Of Speech.

I have a friend who is teaching a short course on ethics in journalism,
and wants to present a Jewish angle to the subject, especially on the
concept of freedom of speech.

Although books on topics such as lashon hora and causing pain with words
are easily available, are there any books that deal with the Jewish
(preferably Orthodox) perspective on freedom of speech?  Any pointers
would be greatly appreciated by my friend.

Immanuel Burton.


From: <FriedmanJ@...> (Jeanette Friedman)
Date: Thu, 6 May 2004 22:18:09 EDT
Subject: Re: Music

Reb Moishe came to my wedding. He never said a word to anyone around me
or to my father or to anyone else about not having or listening to

jeanette friedman

[I think that from some of the postings, the impression / implication is
that Rav Moshe pasked le'halacha in support of the opinion that music is
forbidden always as a zecher l'churban (in rememberence of the
distruction of the Temple). I would also be surprised that this was R'
Moshe's psak (but I'm open to being surprised). Could someone familiar
with this post to the list what was his psak le'halacha (if that is
clear) and the context of the general issur of listening to music
(e.g. the focus of a teshuva, part of the discussion in a teshuva, an
aside remark etc.). Thanks in advance, Mod.]


From: Eli Turkel <turkel@...>
Date: Sun, 9 May 2004 15:42:02 +0300
Subject: R. Akiva's age

>> This Midrash is trying to make Hillel the elder, Yochnan Ben-Zakai
>> and Rabbi Akiba equal to Moses, and therefore all lived to a ripe
>> utopic age of 120....In a sense this is a literary devise.

> It seems to me that you are saying that Chazal were playing loose with
> the facts when they said Rabbi Akiva lived to 120. I have trouble
> accepting such an understanding of chazal. You are making them sound
> intellectually dishonest.

There are several numbers in chazal which are used to present ideas and
are not meant to be precise (guzma).  According to the 120 year figure
R. Akiva was already a major figure before Churban ha-bayit which sounds
hard to believe. For example Rav Tarfon who is promenent after Charban
habayit seems to be an older chacham that R. Akiva and similarly for
other Tananim.  Similary since R. Yochnan Ben-Zakai died shortly after
churban ha-bayit he would have been a major figure way earlier.  It is
hard to believe that they all lived exactly 120 years and things exactly
arranged themselves in 40 year periods for R. Akiva. A little too
neat. Hence, most historians take this numbers as guzma.  That is not
the same as intellectual dishonesty. Chazal are not giving a history

Eli Turkel,  <turkel@...> on 5/9/2004
Department of Mathematics, Tel Aviv University


From: Batya Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Sun, 09 May 2004 18:08:40 +0200
Subject: Re: Soviet Jewry & Rabbis

demonstrations vs silence
public vs behind the scenes

Being of the post WWII baby-boom, I have trouble justifying the European
rabbis who recommended that their congregants stay and not flee.  I have
trouble justifying the silence of the Jews in Europe and all other
places from the very first signs of discrimination, even before the
violence and murder.  History proves that behind the scenes is a very
ineffective way of accomplishing anything, unless it's part of a very
public campaign.

As a high school student in the mid sixties it was clear to me that I
had to publicly demonstrate against injustice as a "tikun" for the past.
Even though I was in public school (Great Neck North) where black,
American civil rights was the main religion, I was drawn to Soviet
Jewry.  They were called "The Jews of Silence," and our response was to
make noise for them.  Decades later I was thrilled to welcome new
immigrants from the USSR into my Shiloh home.



From: Ben Z. Katz <bkatz@...>
Date: Sun, 09 May 2004 22:00:38 -0500
Subject: Re: Soviet Jewry and Senator Jackson

I believe I remember reading that Senator Jackson was a liberating
soldier of a Nazi death camp, and felt that the world owed the Jews
something after the Holocaust and did his best to help.

Thyeh Zichrono baruch.

Ben Z. Katz, M.D.
Children's Memorial Hospital, Division of Infectious Diseases
2300 Children's Plaza, Box # 20, Chicago, IL 60614
Ph 773-880-4187, Fax 773-880-8226


From: <Yisyis@...> (Ira Bauman)
Date: Sun, 9 May 2004 14:50:41 EDT
Subject: Re: SSSJ and JDL

      Meir Kahane's JDL succeeded in making Page One of the New York
      Times, the attentions focused far more on their controversial
      techniques and shadowy modus operandi than the plight of Russian

I went to demonstrations organized by both JDL and SSSJ.  The later's
demonstrations, although attended by many thousands annually barely got
any media coverage, an inside column of the New York Times, at best.
The JDL sit-in on the streets of Washington, the first page.  The
article on the front page of the Washington Post the next day, March 22,
1971, quoted a policeman remarking on the polite manners of those
arrested, a kiddush hashem rather than the "shadowy modus operandi".
Months later the Anti-War movement used the same technique on a larger
scale and again found it to be an effective way to spread their message.

Ira Bauman


From: Yisrael Medad <ybmedad@...>
Date: Fri, 07 May 2004 13:39:40 +0200
Subject: Yom Ha'Atzma'ut Postponed

Rav Yisrael Rosen has written in HaTzofeh, in response to a long article
by Rav Yaakov Ariel, a short piece taking exception to the decision of
the Chief Rabbinate to postpone the two days of Yom Zikaron L'challelei
Tzahal and Yom Ha'Atzmaut.

To summarize:

he quotes from Avoda Zara 11A referring to "a'lifnei mafkadinan,
a'lifnei d'lifnei lo mafkadinan" = we aren't to be strict regarding the
day before the day before.

he justifies, when Yom HaAtzmaut or Yom Yerushalayim falls on a Friday,
to move it back to Thursday to avoid that the day should bring one to
chillul Shabbat by sliding into Shabbat but not the other way around.

he claims the discussion in the Chief Rabbinate really didn't take
place, was done by phone calls and there was no public input from

as for alternatives, he suggests that Yom Zikaron could have been moved
to the previous Wednesday night-Thursday and Yom HaAtzmaut be left on
its original Sunday night-Monday, or, like is done with Yom HaShoah, the
opening ceremony of Yom HaZikaron could have been moved to Sunday

He feels this arrangement demeanded the halachic requirment of "eetzumo 
shel yom".

Yisrael Medad


End of Volume 42 Issue 65